Travellers Project hits out at ‘people in power’

A representative of the Donegal Travellers Project (DTP) has said people in positions of power and authority must be more conscious of what they say and the impact it has on people.

A representative of the Donegal Travellers Project (DTP) has said people in positions of power and authority must be more conscious of what they say and the impact it has on people.

Hugh Friel, men’s health and development worker with Donegal Travellers Project, said he “had never seen the like of it, people in power homing in on the Traveller community” since January of this year.

“It seems acceptable in society to say what you want about the Traveller community,” Mr. Friel said.

Mr. Friel’s comments were made as he addressed the national Sport Aiding Mental Health (Sam) conference on Friday in Ballybofey. He told the conference audience that people in those positions must consider the impact of their statements.

In his presentation, Mr. Friel cited remarks made by two District Court judges, one of whom told Tuam District Court that “maximum force should be used” against burlgars in some raids before describing the burglars as “knackers”.

Mr. Friel said such remarks “have a devastating effect on the Traveller community.”